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Performance Measures – What are they and how are they measured?

This article provides a brief overview of key points about Performance Measures, as well as the differences between Performance Measures and Audit. The article also provides access to two printable checklists: the Performance Measures Checklist and the Audit Checklist.

For Legal Authorities, go to 42 USC § 658a, 45 CFR § 302.55 and Part 305; and, review Appendix D of the Performance Measures Manual Chapter (see link at end of article) for additional legal authorities.

What are the Performance Measures?

Performance Measures is the method used by the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) to calculate incentive dollars for all states.

What is Measured?

OCSE has developed five Performance Measures which are often referred to as The Big Five. Two more, which measure medical support, are tracked but are not tied to federal incentives. As of January 2011, it is believed that the Medical Performance Measures are probably not going to be considered for incentives purposes, as originally planned. OCSE had planned for several years to add medical support to the criteria used to divide up the incentive pie, but with health care reform that becomes less relevant. Regardless, states must still track the Medical Performance Measures as federal law requires medical support order establishment and enforcement and audit results are reported to the OCSE in the annual Self-Assessment audits.

There are 7 Performance Measures :

  • Paternity Establishment
  • Support Order Establishment
  • Medical Order Establishment
  • Medical Order Enforcement
  • Current Support Collections
  • Arrears Support (Cases) Collections
  • Cost Effectiveness

Paternity Establishment

This measure allows for two alternative measurement methods: Statewide or IV-D.
The Statewide Paternity Establishment Percentage (PEP) method includes all children in the state who were born out-of-wedlock. The IV PEP method only includes children in the IV-D caseload who were born out-of-wedlock. Oklahoma uses the Statewide PEP method when reporting to the federal OCSE on the OCSE-157 report because it results in a greater figure. For internal use, Oklahoma is more interested in the IV-D PEP method because it results in a figure more practical for district office management and performance improvement. On Oklahoma’s Performance Measures Report, out‐of‐wedlock births are as‐signed to district offices based on county of residence and/or zip code of the mother. State Office manually adjusts for invalid CSS office assignment to ensure the proper district office receives credit on the Performance Measures Report.

Statewide Paternity Establishment

Minor children born out-of-wedlock for whom paternity has been established or acknowledged
during the paternity period (9 months prior to current reporting period) (OCSE-157 Line 9)

Divided by
___________________________________________________________

Children born out-of-wedlock in Oklahoma during the preceding paternity period
(1 year and 9 months prior to current reporting period)
(OCSE-157 Line 8a)

IV-D Paternity Establishment

Minor Children in IV-D Cases open during or at the end of the reporting period with
paternity established or acknowledged
(OCSE-157 Line 6)

Divided by
___________________________________________________________

Minor Children in IV-D cases open at the end of the prior reporting period
who were born out-of-wedlock
(OCSE-157 Line 5a)

Support Order Establishment

The Support Order Establishment measure compares the number of IV-D cases open to the IV-D cases with support orders on the last day of the reporting period. This includes outgoing and incoming intergovernmental cases. Cases are counted only once regardless of the number of orders.

Support Order Establishment

IV-D cases open at the end of the reporting period with child support orders
(OCSE-157 Line 2)

Divided by
___________________________________________________________

IV-D cases open at the end of the reporting period
(OCSE-157 Line 1)

Medical Order Establishment

Medical support refers to the responsibility of a parent to provide health insurance or medical support for a child. A medical support order is the legal establishment of that responsibility which must be made by a district or administrative court. The Medical Order Establishment performance measure compares the number of IV-D cases with child support orders (excluding arrears only cases) to the number of IV-D cases with medical support ordered.  This measure could be included in the federal incentives calculation in the future.

Medical Order Establishment

IV-D cases open at the end of the reporting period with Medical Support ordered
(OCSE-157 Line 21)

Divided by
___________________________________________________________

IV-D cases open at the end of the reporting period with Support Orders
excluding arrears-only cases
(OCSE-157 Line 2 less Line 2e)

Medical Order Enforcement

Medical support refers to the responsibility of a parent to provide health insurance or medical support for a child but this measure deals with the actual enforcement of the medical support order.  The Medical Order Enforcement performance measure compares the number of IV-D cases with child support orders (excluding arrears only cases) to the number of IV-D cases with medical support ordered AND provided.  This measure could also be included in the federal incentives calculation in the future.

Medical Order Enforcement

IV-D cases open at the end of the reporting period with Medical Support ordered and provided
(OCSE-157 Line 21a)

Divided by
___________________________________________________________

IV-D cases open at the end of the reporting period with Child Support Orders
excluding arrears-only cases
(OCSE-157 Line 2 less Line 2e)

Current Support Collections

The Current Support Collections performance measure compares the amount of collections due for current support to the amount of collections that were distributed for current support in the reporting period. (Distributed Child Support Collections have been credited to the proper child support case(s) and allocated to the various types of debt within the case such as monthly support obligations, arrears, etc. But they may not have been disbursed/issued yet. The Current Support Collections Performance Measure is based on Distributed Collections.)

Current Support Collections

Amount Distributed during the reporting period for Current Support in IV-D cases
(OCSE-157 Line 25)

Divided by
___________________________________________________________

Amount Owed for the reporting period for Current Support in IV-D cases
(OCSE-157 Line 24)

Arrears Support Collections (cases)

The Arrears Support Collections performance measure compares the number of child support cases with arrears due to the number of cases with payments toward arrears during the year. If there is at least one payment toward arrears during the year, the case will be counted. Also included are cases closed during the reporting period with arrears due or payments towards arrears during the year.

Arrears Support Collections (cases)

Number of IV-D cases with at least one payment toward arrears
(and at least part is distributed to the family) during the reporting period)
(OCSE-157 Line 29)

Divided by
___________________________________________________________

Number of IV-D cases with arrears due during the reporting period
(OCSE-157 Line 28)

Cost Effectiveness

The Cost Effectiveness performance measure compares the amount of total collections issued during the reporting period to total costs paid during the reporting period. (The Cost Effectiveness Performance Measure is based on Distributed and Disbursed/Issued Collections.)

Cost Effectiveness

Collections Distributed and Disbursed / Issued
(OCSE-34 Lines 4b, 4c, 8 and 11)

Divided by
___________________________________________________________

Total Costs (Direct Costs + Indirect Costs)
(OCSE-396 Line 7 less Line 1c)

Total collections and costs are not derived from the OCSE‐157 Report. Collections are derived from the OCSE‐34 Report and costs are derived from the OCSE‐396 Report. DHS Finance reports collections quarterly to the federal government on the OCSE 34 Report and costs quarterly on the OCSE‐396 Report. These reports are not currently available on‐line. The detail audit file for the OCSE‐157 is loaded quarterly for the state totals and each office in WebFocus, 157 Data Report. There are currently no audit files for the OCSE‐34 or OCSE‐396 available online. See the Quest article, Making WebFocus Work for You and click on “Learn how to access the WebFocus CSS Dashboard” link, for instructions on accessing the OCSE‐157 audit file.

Costs are derived from reports generated by DHS Finance and are defined as direct and indirect costs. Direct costs such as rent, payroll, postage, and supplies are attributable to each district office. Indirect costs, such as Data Services Division (DSD) computer support and contract services, are allocated to each district office based on number of FTE, population of service area, and caseload.

Audit vs. Performance Measures – What is the Difference Between the Two?

The Audit involves reviewing cases to determine if the State (or District Office) provided the customer all the required services, regardless of the results.  There are two types of CSS audits.  Statewide Self-Assessment Audits review cases to determine if the state provided the customer all the required services and the results are sent to the federal government.  District Office Audits are very similar but are for Oklahoma use only and the results are NOT sent to the federal government.

The Performance Measures capture the end result, not the services provided.

Examples:

  • The State (or District Office) receives credit on the Audit if the State (or District office) takes all the steps to establish a support order, regardless if the order is established successfully.
  • The State (or District Office) receives credit on the Support Order Establishment Performance Measure only when the order for support is established.
  • The State (or District Office) receives credit on the Audit if appropriate enforcement actions are taken to enforce an order for support, regardless if a payment is received.
  • The State (or District Office) receives credit on the Current Support or Arrears Support Performance Measure only when there is a payment.

In other words, Performance Measures looks for Outputs and calculate the End Results while the Audit looks at the Process Used and asks the question, “Did the State (or District Office) provide the Necessary Services?”

To reiterate, there are 7 Performance Measures:

  • Paternity Establishment
  • Support Order Establishment
  • Medical Order Establishment
  • Medical Order Enforcement
  • Current Support Collections
  • Arrears Support (Cases) Collections
  • Cost Effectiveness

There are 8 Necessary Services Categories:

  • Establishment
  • Enforcement
  • Medical Support
  • Case Closure
  • Review & Adjustment
  • Expedited Process
  • Intergovernmental Services
  • Case Initiation

Checklists for Performance Measure and for Audit

This article provides two printable checklists to help you know what your office needs to do to ensure you get credit on the Performance Measures Report and when the auditors perform their review: the Performance Measures Checklist which provides brief summaries of data required for cases to be counted for each performance measures category and the Audit Checklist outlines the audit categories, their descriptions, and related OSIS screens.

For Additional information about the Performance Measures and Audit, go to either the Performance Measures Manual Chapter or Performance Measures User Guide.  You could also review the CSQuest article Making WebFocus Work for You and Self-Assessment: Audit Methodology and Code of Federal Regulations